Monday, June 22, 2009

Bustin' makes me feel good.

So I walk into class this morning, with the graded labs. Before handing them out, I start talking to the class - I started off with how I "knew" none of the other profs in the department allowed people to hand in identical labs, so I knew they knew it wasn't OK, I talk about how I expect that each person will do their own lab write-up, that's why I give a week's time to do it. That I expect the data will be similar/the same within a group, but that I want to see each person figure out the interpretation and answer the questions on their own.

I explained that my SOP when I got labs that were identical, was to give each member of the collective a fraction of the points corresponding to how many people colluded.

As I'm saying this, I'm keeping the Gang of Three (which is now how I think of them) in my peripheral vision. At first they looked a bit surprised. Then they looked guilty - the whole sh*t-eating grins, dropping their eyes so I wouldn't inadvertently meet them, all of that.

They were busted. They KNEW they were busted. And I could tell from their expressions that they KNEW they weren't supposed to hand in lab reports that were identical clones of each other, but they had gone and done it anyway.

The thing is? This is a class of like 12 people. Did they really think I'd miss it when 1/4 of the reports were exact copies?

So I handed the reports back - no howls of outrage, no demands for why they got a 3/10.

It was pretty sweet.

Oh, I know, I'm evil for saying that, but it WAS.

I had sweated about this for several days, not knowing what to do - mainly because I HATE conflict and I HATE people claiming I done them wrong - and here it came out the best possible way. I had won.

After class, the one girl who had handed in a lab with the other girl's name on the top asked me why she didn't get a lab back. "But I didn't get a lab from you" I protested, "I got 2 with [redacted] name at the top, but none from you for that lab."

"But I handed it in!" she said.

"Yes, you handed in two labs: one with your name, and you got a grade for that one. But lab 2, you handed in a lab with [redacted] name on it."

She asked me: "Can I go print out another copy right now?"

Um, and put your name at the top? No, I don't think so.

Later, as I was starting my next class (and grr, I hate that. WAIT for me to be in office hours before confronting me, please) the "spokesman" of the group came to me and asked me: "So, can we redo the labs?"

Well, let's see.

Number 1: you blatantly did something you knew you weren't supposed to do.
Number 2: you are asking me to make more work for myself during the already-busy summer semester.
Number 3: you are trying to beg me for something when I am TRYING to talk with my next class.

I looked at him, and said simply: "No. Sorry."

I'm thinking I should probably buttonhole my department chair as soon as she comes in and apprise her of the situation, seeing as these guys are all pre-meds and they are likely to come to her with the "she ruined our lives, wah, we won't get into med school now!" cry. And while my chair is a very fair person, I want her to know my side of things first.

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